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Pakistan

PIA privatisation: high-level huddle ‘agrees on timelines’

  • Advisor to PM on Aviation, senior management and PIA's legal/financial consultants also attend meeting
Published September 19, 2023

Federal Minister for Privatisation Fawad Hasan Fawad on Tuesday chaired a meeting to discuss restructuring process of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) leading to its privatisation, PTV News reported.

The meeting was attended by the Adviser to Prime Minister on Aviation Air Marshal (R) Farhat Hussain Khan along with key members of his team, senior management and legal/financial consultants of the PIA.

“[During the meeting,] clear timelines regarding the process were agreed with a view to meet the target set by the prime minister and the cabinet,” PTV shared in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Fawad Hasan Fawad, former principal secretary to ex-premier Nawaz Sharif, was inducted into the interim cabinet on September 12, 2023.

The loss-making national carrier has been a subject of privatisation for years.

Last week, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar directed all relevant stakeholders to find an immediate solution to privatisation of the PIA.

Chairing a meeting to review the process of PIA privatisation in Islamabad, the interim prime minister urged the stakeholders concerned to expedite the process keeping in view raising standards of the national flag carrier as per international standards.

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has also directed that emphasis should be given to the PIA’s privatisation instead of restructuring as the national flag-carrier is on active list of privatisation, well-informed sources told Business Recorder.

PIA struggles to pay bills

AFP on Friday reported that PIA was struggling to pay its bills and wages, after local media reports said the fleet might be grounded within days.

PIA appoints new CEO as it braces for privatisation

Abdullah Hafeez, spokesman for government-owned PIA, said the company was seeking urgent financial help from the treasury, but had secured funds “for the time being”.

“But we do struggle due to balance sheet challenges,” he told AFP. “That is why PIA is seeking balance sheet restructuring support from the owners.”

Recovery in flight operations

As per media reports on Saturday, PIA managed to post some recovery in its flight operations after the airline secured a Rs17 billion bank loan.

Earlier, news had emerged that PIA resorted to ground several aircraft as it was struggled to secure funds to maintain its operations.

Govt tells SC: Rs114bn given to PIACL since 2018

In a post on September 9 on X, PIA shared that it had received “some critical funds” through banks, with the government’s support.

PIA came into being in 1955 when the government nationalised a loss-making commercial airline, and enjoyed rapid growth until the 1990s.

The liberalisation of the market and launch of several private and publicly owned airlines put enormous pressure on PIA, resulting in years of lossmaking.

Comments

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Abood Sep 20, 2023 12:00am
Sell it.even at one dollar.Just get rid off it an than steel mills too.slowly privatise all these govt institutions.
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KhanRA Sep 20, 2023 04:59am
Who exactly is interested in buying it? Unlike India, Pakistan has not been able to produce home grown conglomerates like Tata who can turn the airline around. If it sold to a Mid East carrier, it will be purposely dismantled to complete their takeover of Pakistani air space. Turkish has shown no interest in it. The company will have to be sold at an incredible discount toChina, with all defaulting assets kept by the government.
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